american brewing

If you’ve seen the critically acclaimed Broadway musical “Hamilton,” then you’ve heard the song “Farmer Refuted.” It’s based on a letter a young Alexander Hamilton wrote — he was barely 20 — offering a passionate defense of individual liberty and the brewing American Revolution. Yet he did not sign it under his own name, instead writing as “a sincere friend of America.”

This overlooked fact deserves greater attention. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical has renewed Americans’ appreciation of Hamilton, one of our nation’s most dynamic founders. Never before have his life and views, from his defense of individual rights to his opposition to slavery, been so celebrated. But Hamilton’s frequent use of anonymous speech has received scant attention, even though it has a significant bearing on American politics today.

Anonymous speech was a frequent feature of Hamilton’s life — and of the American founding overall. Arguably the single most influential piece leading to American independence was “Common Sense,” the pamphlet penned by Thomas Paine anonymously. Just over a decade later, Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay co-wrote the Federalist Papers as “Publius.”

These were not unconnected or uncommon occurrences. The United States was built in large part on the exchange of ideas circulated anonymously. In the years before the Declaration of Independence, anonymous speech was one of the greatest weapons the colonists used against the tyrant King George III. As for the Constitution, had Publius and others not anonymously dialogued in newspapers about the equally revolutionary document, it might never have been adopted, nor would have the subsequent Bill of Rights with its First Amendment guarantee of free speech.

The bottom line is that it is highly probable that the United States would not even exist without anonymous speech. Sadly, we have forgotten this lesson somewhere in the intervening years. Today, anonymous speech is too often demonized, derided as “dark,” or otherwise dismissed for its lack of “transparency.”

Although there are many examples, the brunt of these attacks centers on the anonymous speech used by nonprofit organizations on both the right and the left. These groups reach out to the public with messages on a wide number of issues, and they can be supported by individuals, corporations, unions and more. The nationwide campaign against anonymous speech is, by and large, a campaign to force these supporters’ identities into the open.


Some opponents of anonymous political speech claim it enables businesses and individuals to advocate in secret for government policies that benefit themselves. But an idea aired in the public forum — whether it’s suggested by an individual, nonprofit or business — doesn’t mandate an action. It asks people to evaluate the merits of the argument and to decide for themselves if the proposed change would advance society. As then-Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission in 1995, “ ‘the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market.’ . . . Don’t underestimate the common man. People are intelligent enough to evaluate the source of an anonymous writing.” Perhaps we should have more faith that voters — and reporters — are smart enough to smell a rat.

When anonymous speech flourishes, ideas that are unpopular, controversial and revolutionary have a much better chance of finding their way into the public square and gaining wider public acceptance. Absent anonymous speech, America’s political discourse would become less vibrant, more impoverished. Hamilton proved it.

Bravo Brown is a American #BrownAle style #beer brewed by @firestonewalker. in Paso Robles, #california with a 95 out of 100 on @beeradvocate. Pineapple for scale .
Firestone Walker brews the 2017 Vintage of Bravo, an Imperial #BrownAle aged in retired American oak bourbon barrels. A single-hopped strong brown ale brewed using the hop variety Bravo. This beer is then aged for up to a year in circa 1990’s used Heaven Hill bourbon barrels.
Deep cherry brown which has a very thin creamy head with a good carbonation. Aroma of coconut and bourbon. Tastes similar to the nose. Mouthfeel is smooth with a lot of alcohol warmth. Overall it’s a good bourbon barrel aged beer.

Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale (New Belgium / Ben & Jerry’s)

Brewery : New Belgium / Ben & Jerry’s
Beer : Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale
Style : Brown Ale / American Brown Ale
Variance : Brewed with Cocoa and Vanilla Powder

8 / 10

There’s nothing better than beer being drank for a good cause. These two powerhouses brewed this beer to help Protect Our Winters combat climate change. For those of you who don’t know what climate change is, you are probably republican so let me explain (I still love you all I promise). Climate change is when you have a bunch of old men in congress who bring snowballs in as a fucking show and tell items and try and say that super cold winters dispel global warming. Those people are also fucking idiots but once the world heats up a few more degrees and we’re all living on rafts, I’ll be sure to grab one of these and float around on a tube like I’m in the world’s largest lazy river. I got a little off track there, sorry. Anyways, this is a pretty delicious beer from New Belgium and my only real knock on this brew is that the ice cream created in collaboration definitely edges this one out on the scrumptious-ness. It starts with a a chocolaty borderline coffee bitterness before a nice vanilla sweetness joins in towards the middle before just mellowing and leaving you with a nice dessert like finish. I’m glad I got my hands on this because it really is an interesting take on a style that so many breweries either under flavor or downright abuse like Heath Ledger’s blood stream after a long night with a bag of pills. This is a good pickup for the craft aficionados and fans of the style and as for the newbies, this is a great way to get into better beer and also support a great cause at the same time. Cheers!

Written by: Steve B.

Black slavery enriched the country’s creative possibilities. For in that construction of blackness and enslavement could be found not only the not-free but also, with the dramatic polarity created by skin color, the projection of the not-me. The result was a playground for the imagination. What rose up out of collective needs to allay internal fears and to rationalize external exploitation was an American Africanism—a fabricated brew of darkness, otherness, alarm, and desire that is uniquely American.
—  Toni Morrison. “Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination”